He is an Artistic Director, choral singer, conductor and teacher who grew up in Manchester, England. He took further studies in musical education at Manchester University, classics at Bristol University and education at King’s College, London, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts. He began his interest in music while young and became a chorister as a child.
He carried on with his love of choral singing into adulthood and has been heard through the years with the Consort of St. Martin’s in the Fields, the Tower of London chapel choir, Westminster Abbey and deputising in St. Paul’s Cathedral. His other ensemble work heard him with John Rutter and his Cambridge Singers and Mannheim Steamroller.
He turned his hand to choral directing and led the Hereford Chamber Chorus and Variation but then left for St. Louis in the United States to become chairman of John Burrough’s School Classic’s Department. He gave up this position to become the Johnston Endowed Chair in Classics, and also became Christ Church Cathedral’s assistant choirmaster as well as singing in various choirs throughout the St. Louis area.
In 1989 he became the fourth Artistic Director of the St. Louis Chamber Chorus and under his leadership they have performed over 900 performances of music, often in its original language, that ranges from Renaissance to present day and gathered themselves an outstanding reputation. Gaining a good relationship with present day composers, he has commissioned many new choral pieces, performed a large amount of world premieres with the choir and worked closely with Richard Rodney Bennett, David Matthews, Ned Rorem, Jonathon Pitkin, Carl Rutti and Patrick Zuk among many others.
He is also co-founder and singer of Musica Missouri, which is a vocal ensemble that regularly tours Europe. Having now made many recordings he can be heard on CDs such as A Fresh Aire Christmas by Mannheim Steamroller, Outcry by Peter Dickinson, collections of works by Mendelssohn and Tallis and eight recordings with the St. Louis Chamber Chorus .
As a teacher he taught in various schools in England before going to the United States and pioneered the Oxford Latin Course, given many choral workshops in various locations, many lectures, presented papers which concentrate on Roman and Greek music and designed the upper-school choice of A Vocal History of Classical Music. He is also a contributor to The Choral Journal where is reviews CDs and has been an editor of Classical & Modern Literature.
Recognised for his contribution to choral music he has been presented with an award by the American Guild of Organists.
St. Louis Chamber Chorus recordings
The Angel Gabriel (Traditional Basque/Sabine-Baring Gould)
SLCC 04 (CD: St Louis Chamber Orchestra: A Spanish Christmas)
Arranger: Edgar Pettman
Conductor – Philip Barnes
Here he is in a introducing the 2016-2017 season with the Saint Louis Chamber Chorus…